An Alabama car dealership is giving away bibles, flags and 12-gauge shotguns in honor of the Fourth of July ~ “better get your butt down to Alabama real soon”

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In an appeal to patriotism, a car dealership in Alabama is giving away bibles, flags and guns for a Fourth of July special.

From now until July 31, Chatom Ford will offer customers a bible, American flag and a gift certificate for a 12-gauge shotgun when they purchase any new or used vehicle.
In a promotional video titled “God, Guns and Freedom,” manager Koby Palmer cocks a shotgun in front of a red truck with an American flag draped across the back.
“We’re going to be celebrating July Fourth a little bit differently this year,” he said in the video, posted to Facebook June 19.
The promotion, a first for the dealership, is meant to honor the tiny town of Chatom, home to just over 1,200 people, and its values, Palmer told CNN.
“We just wanted to show appreciation for some of the things that [residents] take pride in in this area,” he said.
Customers can’t drive off the lot with a new gun, though: They must take their gift card to a participating firearms dealer to redeem it, he said.

An ‘American stand’ or ‘violently American?’

Palmer said the dealership’s been “overwhelmed” with positive feedback since the promotion started. They’ve sold five vehicles in two days and might even sell out their inventory by the time the sale ends.
Customers from across the country have flooded their Facebook with comments of praise for “taking an amazing American stand” and refrains of “God Bless America.”
But the promotion’s attracted criticism in equal measure for its provision of guns and bibles, ranging from “just lunatic” to “violently American.”
Palmer assured that customers don’t have to take the bible, gun certificate or flag if they’re uncomfortable.
“We’re not trying to force anything on anybody,” he said. “We accept all views and all walks of life

Adventurer and Exum mountain guide, Michael Gardner ~ Wednesday, June, 26th @ 7 pm ~ Ouray County 4-H Event Center

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“The Hard Way Home”

Michael Gardner—a 2010 Ridgway High School graduate, mountain guide, and climber—will share stories about climbing in Alaska, and the importance of relationships and community, at the Ouray County 4-H Center. The event is a fundraiser for the George Gardner Scholarship Fund, whose mission is “Helping Ouray County Youth explore the outdoors to foster personal growth and a compassionate world view.”

The evening will include a silent auction with items from Arc’teryx and Voormi (sponsors of Michael’s), and local sponsors.

Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:00. Suggested donation: $15 adults; $10 students.

For Michael, “The Hard Way Home” is a way of encapsulating an important part of his climbing philosophy. He says, “It’s not so much to about reaching the summit but rather taking the hardest possible route to get home to your friends and family. ‘Climb high, climb hard, come home’ – the only one that really matters is the last one.”

Michael will share photos and stories of his most recent adventure – a unique climb up the Infinite Spur of 17,400’ Mt. Foraker in the central Alaska Range in Denali National Park. He refers to it as his “harebrained idea” – he climbed and skied over 20,000 vertical feet and 30 miles in 48 hours, from base camp to base camp.

The importance of relationships and community is a focal point of Michael’s climbing career. “I love the mountains, and the beauty, and the places that climbing takes me, but the most important part is the community I build through climbing. Community is all about connections with the people that you’re with and the community of the place. Moving through the landscape in a slow, human-powered and intimate way makes that connection.”

Michael grew up spending summers with his family in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, living in a cluster of cabins used by the National Park Service Climbing Rangers and the commercial Exum Mountain Guides. George Gardner, Michael’s father and an accomplished guide, was a beloved and respected member of the mountaineering community. George promoted the outdoor classroom and experiential learning with both his climbing clients and student groups as a way of promoting personal growth and a compassionate world view. Michael was only 16 in 2008 when his father tragically died in a climbing accident on the Grand.

His father’s legacy continues, however, through the George Gardner Scholarship Fund that supports Ouray County youth who wish to pursue outdoor or experiential learning opportunities. The George Fund believes that profound learning is often facilitated by time spent in the mountains, deserts, rivers, and waters of the world. For more about The George Fund, visit www.georgefund.org

 

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THEN I WENT CLIMBING… by Jeff Burke.

 Featuring Michael Gardner

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Exum guide Michael Gardner climbing an exposed pitch on the upper Exum Ridge.  Photograph by David Stubbs.

Organic Chemistry at Exum Mountain Guides

 

“The Snaz” on Cathedral Buttress in Grand Teton National Park is a classic Wyoming mountaineering route. Established by Yvon Chouinard and Mort Hempel in 1964, “The Snaz” is a free climb above Phelps Lake in the southerly part of the park. It slithers nine pitches up a dihedral composed of metamorphic swirls of granitic and intrusive formations—the essence of Teton geology. After 60 years of ascents from climbers and guides of every stripe, it’s become a classic trade route of the Teton Range.

In 1993, Brenton Reagan was 17 years old and on summer vacation, gearing up to follow the late, great Alex Lowe, a world-renowned alpinist and Exum mountain guide. An enviable pied piper, Lowe’s infectious passion for alpine adventure changed the lives of anyone with whom he crossed paths. Like most impressionable 17-year-olds, Reagan had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. “But then I went climbing with Alex,” he says, “and it was like, Oh yeah.”

Fast-forward to this spring. It’s a damp afternoon in Jackson, Wyoming, and I’m drinking coffee on my porch with Reagan. He’s just returned from Alaska, having taken his American Mountain Guides Association ski mountaineering exam, a two-week extended series of tests and competency requirements for working guides looking for international certification.

exum-david-stubs-old-crew-WEB.jpgPhotograph by David Stubb

Mentorship in climbing is as old as the sport of climbing itself. It goes hand in hand with learning history, and Reagan is part of a history—the history, long and storied, of Exum climbing guides. Exum was founded in 1929 by two wayward Idahoans—Glenn Exum and Paul Petzoldt—who went to the Tetons in search of some of North America’s greatest climbing challenges. Petzoldt first climbed The Grand at 16 years old in a pair of cowboy boots. The Grand is a serious climb at 13,775 feet requiring both endurance and technical skills. With an entrepreneurial spirit to match his climbing habit, Petzoldt soon figured out that visitors to Grand Teton National Park would pay money for a guide to lead them into the park’s mountains. Soon, he started one of the first guide services in North America. Petzoldt and Exum hooked up a few years later and began what has since become known as one of the premier mountaineering schools in the country.

Glenn Exum earned the respect of the climbing world when he was 18 years old and climbed a new route up The Grand Teton sans rope in a borrowed pair of leather-cleated football shoes that were two sizes too big. While climbing The Grand in shoes that don’t fit and, honestly, don’t belong on the terrain, is notable, the real zinger is that Exum made a first ascent that included a less-than-sane jump across a gap up a ridge that now bears his name.

Petzoldt—who went on to found National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) as a pioneer in the development of outdoor education—and Exum created a mountaineering school where experience, self-reliance, and good sense formed the core of their enterprise. They departed from the European school of mountaineering where the guides “did for” the clients (sometimes tying a rope around them and pulling them up difficult terrain) and instead created a culture where guides offered instruction and the chance to utilize newly learned skills. This approach to guiding set a distinct tone at Exum where mentors have long played a pivotal role. And mentors, according to Reagan, have played an important role in his ascent from climber to guide. “I wasn’t that good of a climber or skier [when I started], but I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.” Now, 26 years later, Reagan is 43, has a wife (herself a guide), two kids, and a thriving career as a full-time guide and marketing manager for Exum Mountain Guides. And while formal education is a good thing, we’re here to mine the intangible value of mentoring and the importance of passing on history.

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Art critics told him no one would like his paintings. Now fans go on scavenger hunts for them.


Octopus/Caveman around Orange County, Calif. (Photos by Octopus/Caveman)
June 9

Anthony Pedersen sat in his painting shed and took stock of all that had gone wrong. He was divorced years ago, he battled a drinking problem, and at one point, he lived in his car. That was after an art gallery told him his work would never sell.

A death in the family last week pushed him to the brink, and Pedersen, surrounded by his paintings, considered taking his own life. But what to do with his art?

“I thought, ‘Maybe I should give away all these paintings before I do that,’ ” Pedersen said.

That idea bloomed into a scavenger hunt, of sorts, fueled by social media.

Pedersen, 36, under his artist name Octopus/Caveman, seeded Orange County with four paintings Friday and Saturday, then posted photos on Twitter with hints to their locations. They included a plea to send photos once they were discovered.

“I only ask that you give this painting a good home,” wrote Pedersen, an intake manager at a law firm by day. “I’d love to see my painting with its new owner. Have a great life together.”

The response was almost too fast for Carrie Murphy.

She awoke at 3 a.m. Saturday and was scrolling through Twitter when she saw the clues. Murphy jumped in her car and drove 30 miles to a Rainbow Donut shop in Westminster. The painting had already vanished, she told The Post on Sunday.

Yet Murphy, an artist herself, was undeterred. She reveled in the hunt, despite the distance from her home in Laguna Niguel. Drizzle splattered her windshield as she set out for the next clue: A painting of a green man left against a wall at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach.

That, too, was a dry hole, she said.

View image on Twitter

Mama🏳️‍🌈Murph@murph_mama

OMG TREASURE! Thank you SO much @OctopusCaveman for the best kind of hunting. I owe you a beer or two💜

Pedersen had planted the other paintings hours later. One, depicting a robot with a beating red heart, was left against a sign outside Cyprus College near Anaheim. Murphy loaded her son, along with her husband — fresh off a flight from Thailand — into the car and roared off to the college.

The painting was gone, Murphy thought. But it had been blown over by the wind and lay flat on the grass. She picked up and held her prize: an Octopus/Caveman original.

“It was the most exciting thing. It felt like the lottery,” Murphy said. “And knowing it’s a treasured piece of art … it gave me so much joy.”

A man discovered the fourth painting at a park in Huntington Beach. “hello thanks you so much for the painting it was [such] a weird coincidence that I found it,” he wrote on Twitter.


Octopus/Caveman around Orange County, Calif. (Photos by Octopus/Caveman)

Suddenly, the rejected artist had found an audience after returning to the studio only last year.

Pedersen paints with “the cheapest stuff you can imagine,” he said. Paint and brushes come from Walmart. He is a self-taught painter, and when he sits down, he has no firm idea about what spills out.

He may go through several paintings, one layered on top of another, he said, before he creates something like a lovelorn robot.

Murphy inspected the painting’s edges and discovered those layers of experimentation and process. “I will have to find a special place for it,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of history on that canvas.”

The gratitude has moved in a cycle. Murphy contacted Pedersen and told him what her find meant to her. He explained his bout with depression, and that his idea had sparked a deep satisfaction in his own work and what he has done for Murphy and others.

“I told him, ‘I hope you realized how much joy you are providing,’ ” Murphy said.


Octopus/Caveman around Orange County, Calif. (Photos by Octopus/Caveman)

“I was really moved. She seemed excited about it,” he said. “Her joy in finding that was fantastic.”

Pedersen is working through what comes next. Maybe an expansion to San Diego. Pedersen thought perhaps there was a way to connect the paintings and the location in a more deliberate way.

But that process will come later. On Sunday, he left a vivid yellow abstract work at a parking garage in Claremont — number five in a growing series.

Bob Dylan’s Glam Hootenanny: Returning to Rolling Thunder ~ NYT

Dylan’s 1975 tour was his most peculiar: nostalgic, theatrical, fiery.

Bob Dylan’s 1975 tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue, pulled together mentors and peers for a bizarre trek through off-the-beaten-path performances spaces across the U.S. and Canada. Credit Ken Regan, via Netflix

 

How distant the mid-1970s seem now. They were unkempt, hairy, hedonistic, improvisational, analog, inefficient — anything but neatly calculated and Instagram-ready. Post-psychedelic and pre-AIDS, they were a continuation of the idealistic, natural 1960s, yet they were also an immediate precursor to the polymorphous, synthetic, role-playing disco era. The bitterness of Vietnam and Watergate lingered; hippie utopianism was giving way to a more selfish search for individual satisfaction. Things were still scruffy, but not quite so communal.

The Rolling Thunder Revue, concocted by Bob Dylan, was precisely a manifestation of its era. Starting in Plymouth, Mass., where the colonial Pilgrims landed, it wandered the northeastern United States and Canada from fall into winter of 1975: a brief peregrination. In Dylan’s public career, which is now well into its sixth decade, it stands as his most peculiar tour of all.

Two new projects revisit the Rolling Thunder Revue in extensive detail. “The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings” is a 14-CD, 148-track boxed set of music from the tour’s rehearsals and performances, vastly expanding the two dozen songs released on a 2002 collection, “The Bootleg Series Volume 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue.” And on June 12, Netflix premieres “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.” It’s a not-quite-documentary that mixes 1975 tour footage (which was shot for the 1978 film “Renaldo and Clara”) and latter-day interviews with Dylan, Joan Baez and other Rolling Thunder participants, along with some fictional characters.

“The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings” is a 14-CD boxed set capturing Dylan’s own appearances on the tour, from rehearsals to shows and rarities.

 

Both the boxed set and the film sprawl proudly and unpredictably, just as the Revue itself did. And both projects traffic in revelation and put-on, sometimes simultaneously. Onstage in 1975, introducing a then-new song called “Isis” that traces improbable adventures, Dylan claimed, “This is a true story. Actually, they’re all true.”

The Revue’s initial plan was to play spur-of-the-moment, out-of-the-way bookings — a Mah-jongg parlor, a Native American reservation — and shows at small halls that were announced on short notice, with printed fliers and radio ads: no internet then. (For a second, more conventional tour in 1976, the Revue outgrew that approach; both the boxed set and film stick to the initial Revue.) The concerts themselves rambled through their multi-performer bills, often stretching to three or four hours, taking on local guests at whim.

Someday there ought to be a reissue of a full-length, single-night Rolling Thunder Revue concert recording, opening acts and all. The new box is not that. It collects only Dylan’s own appearances — rehearsals, five professionally recorded shows and a final disc of rarities and outliers, like the piano-pounding “Simple Twist of Fate” recorded at the Mah-jongg Parlor in Falmouth, Mass.

The Revue presented itself as an informal hootenanny, but it was a self-conscious one. With a film crew in tow, the shows were also intended to provide material for the amorphous “Renaldo and Clara,” a film that ran nearly four hours when it was released in 1978 and met with near-universal derision. With a script credited to Dylan and the playwright Sam Shepard, “Renaldo and Clara” jumbled documentary and staged scenes, and it scrambled identities; Dylan is billed as Renaldo while the rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins plays “Bob Dylan.”

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In ‘Rolling Thunder Revue,’ Scorsese Tries to Capture a Wild Dylan Tour ~ NYT

 

The director Martin Scorsese mixes fiction and documentary to match the anarchic spirit of the 1975 concerts themselves.

Bob Dylan in a scene from the documentary. Credit Ken Regan, via Legacy Recordings

 

By Alan Light

 

Throughout “Rolling Thunder Revue,” the new film by Martin Scorsese chronicling Bob Dylan’s celebrated barnstorming tour in the fall of 1975, the participants struggle with how best to describe the event. It was like a “con man, carny, medicine show of old,” says Allen Ginsberg; “a circus atmosphere, dog and pony show,” says Sam Shepard; “an experiment in communal existence,” says Joni Mitchell.

 

In the movie, in theaters and on Netflix this week, Dylan himself starts to explain, saying that he wanted to do something “in the traditional form of a revue,” before cutting himself off.

“I don’t have a clue,” he says. “It’s about nothing, it’s just something that happened 40 years ago. I don’t remember a thing about Rolling Thunder — it happened so long ago, I wasn’t even born.”

This unexpected response sets the tone for an unconventional film about an unprecedented tour. The year before, Dylan had returned to the road for the first time in nearly a decade, accompanied by the Band for a series of concerts that broke ticket-sales records but proved musically unsatisfying. In his autobiography, Levon Helm of the Band wrote that the tour “was damn good for our pocketbooks, but it just wasn’t a very passionate trip for any of us.”

Dylan returned to Greenwich Village and started turning up at clubs, seeking out the sense of musical adventure and community that had initially drawn him to New York City. He assembled a new band of young unknowns, recorded what would become the “Desire” album and dreamed up a different way to tour.

Roger McGuinn, formerly of the Byrds, recalled in a recent telephone interview that when Dylan visited him at his Malibu home, “he said he wanted to do something like a circus, but he didn’t elaborate.”

The Rolling Thunder Revue hit the highway, booking halls in New England and Canada a few days in advance and selling its own tickets. Dylan’s boyhood friend Louie Kemp, who made his fortune in the seafood business, served as tour manager, and over 40 days, the top-billed Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Bob Neuwirthand others played 31 shows, some stretching four hours long, in 23 cities. (The tour nominally picked up again in 1976, playing bigger venues in the South and West. The film is accompanied by a 14-CD box set with performances and rehearsals from the first tour.)

Makeup, masks and costume were commonplace on the tourCredit Ken Regan, via Netflix

“I think the tour was unique in that it tried to expand the conventions of what a music show would be at that time,” Scorsese wrote in an email. “So there were poets, filmmakers, playwrights, and all sorts of different musicians.”

“It was an attempt to bring an exciting experience directly to the people,” he said, adding, “without thinking about the economics, without thinking about what people had done in the past. Just a pure expression of music and joy.”

The team behind the new movie decided that such an unusual expedition required something beyond a linear documentary. Most notably, the film creates several fictional characters. They represent some of the archetypal figures that surround a rock ’n’ roll tour and are included without comment alongside interviews with Rolling Thunder alumni.

100th anniversary of the Bauhaus exhibit Aspen

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Celebrating the Bauhaus in … Aspen?

You don’t have to go to Germany to get a strong dose of the art school’s provocative design during its centennial year.

Herbert Bayer designed the “Kaleidoscreen” sculpture, which is on the campus of the Aspen Institute.CreditCreditBenjamin Rasmussen for The New York Times

 

By Cindy Hirschfeld

 

As Germany celebrates the centennial of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin, the short-lived revolutionary art school is also being honored in a surprising location: Aspen, Colo.

The prolific Bauhaus artist and designer Herbert Bayer lived in Aspen from 1946 until 1975, and left a rich, lasting mark on the mountain resort town. A yearlong slate of events includes walking tours, exhibitions, gallery shows, talks, art workshops, musical performances and more. You can even order a Bauhaus-style pastry made of squares and rectangles of cake in primary colors at Plato’s restaurant at the Aspen Meadows Resort.

A good place to begin: the exhibition “bayer & bauhaus: how design shaped aspen” (through April 2020) at the Aspen Historical Society’s Wheeler/Stallard Museum. The overview features sketches, posters, photographs and other items related to Bayer’s commercial design work, his local architecture projects and the impact he had on the community. It also answers the question of how the Austrian-born Bayer, who left the Bauhaus in 1928 for an advertising career in Berlin, wound up in a remote mountain outpost, which, at the time, verged on a ghost town.

Herbert Bayer at the Art Institute of Chicago in the mid 1940s, after leaving Nazi Germany. The Bauhaus artist and designer would eventually  help “design and market” the town of Aspen, ColoCredit Gordon Coster/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

The short version: The Chicago industrialist Walter Paepcke and his wife, Elizabeth, jump-started Aspen’s renewal several decades after the town’s silver-mining economy went bust in 1893 and the population dwindled to 700. In 1946 Paepcke invited Bayer — then living in New York City after having left Nazi Germany — to Aspen to help design and market the town’s rebirth.

In addition to buying up many of the town’s defunct buildings and getting the fledgling ski area off the ground, Paepcke envisioned Aspen as “a cultural utopia, a place to discuss the issues of the day in a neutral spot,” said Lissa Ballinger, the art curator at the Aspen Institute. The area’s incredible natural beauty also played into the idea of feeding one’s body, mind and spirit, as the Paepckes’ high-minded concept for Aspen is now characterized.

To this end, in 1949 the couple organized a 20-day bicentennial celebration to honor Goethe, the German writer; the event introduced the town to hundreds of visitors, including Thornton Wilder and Albert Schweitzer, and led to the establishment of the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies (the latter part of the name has since been dropped) and a long-running international design conference.

The Koch Seminar Building and Herbert Bayer’s “Sgraffito Mural” at the Aspen Institute. Credit Benjamin Rasmussen for The New York Times

 With Aspen back on the map, Bayer, the quintessential influencer of his time, dove into the task of spiffing up and advertising the town and its amenities. From the mid-1940s to the early ’70s, Bayer worked on a wide range of projects: designing buildings, helping set local policies, and creating ski posters that promoted Aspen’s cachet as a ski destination. He designed the annual programs for the Music Festival, and even created custom stationery for the Hotel Jerome, which he restored. (Much of this graphic work is now on show at Wheeler/Stallard.) He renovated the Wheeler Opera House, closed since a fire damaged it in 1912, and designed the summit lodge atop Aspen Mountain — his first architecture commission — with an innovative component: a concave roof over the fireplace that caught snow, which then melted into a water source.

“He was like a bulldog on projects,” said the artist Richard Carter during a spring talk at the Aspen Art Museum. Mr. Carter served as Bayer’s assistant during the 1970s. “Work was everything, and he couldn’t imagine not doing it.”

Bayer also became a hyper-engaged citizen. “An artist or designer functions in society, not as a decorator, but as a vital participant,” he wrote in “Herbert Bayer Visual Communication, Architecture, Painting.” He helped found the local historical society, advised town government on historic preservation, and chaired the planning and zoning commission for five years.

Not all of Bayer’s attempts succeeded. Hoping to brighten up the town’s aging buildings, he encouraged locals to paint their houses in unconventional colors like Pepto-Bismol pink and a shade now known as Bayer blue. “It was kind of a flop,” said Lisa Hancock, vice-president and curator of collections at the Aspen Historical Society. And it took time to introduce Bauhaus-style architecture to a community of potato farmers and ranchers. “It was culture shock to Aspen residents at the time,” Ms. Hancock said.

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